The fascination between language and art in Ken Singer’s wall-canvas paintings

Ken Singer’s piece is an excerpt of text from the artist’s three years of work painted directly onto the gallery wall.  Singer is fascinated with the relationship between language and art and his works usually reflects this fascination.  “Excerpt When ideas Enter a Work” is a painting whose meaning lies not only behind what is written but by the form it takes on the gallery wall-canvas.  Singer calls into question popular perceptions of what constitutes as art and why words have not traditionally been associated as a form of visual art.  He utilizes the form that the letters take and the manner in which they are written on the wall to express the whole as an art piece.  He emphasizes the concept of art as an idea and the manner in which these ideas are shaped and conveyed visually.  Letters that come together to form words can be just as abstract with their representations of an idea as any other form of art.  It is fascinating how an idea can be condensed into a word, especially abstract ideas from love and trust to transnationalism and globalization.  Singer’s piece deals with the representation and perceptions of ideas transmitted through a literary medium just as writer Abel Nornes “Translating Traffic” deals with the difficulties of appropriately translating content and context through cultures in the form of subtitles in films; it studies language further diluted in its meaning as it is taken out of its cultural and social context.  “Excerpt When ideas Enter a Work” not only calls into question the boundaries of what constitutes as visual art, but calls into question the malleability of meanings with the transmission of ideas within a visual medium.

Anthony Bornia